Ekkel, Bibs: Complete Balalaika Book (Book & CD)

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Catalogue No: 96213BCD
Shop Product Code: 148406M

Status: Usually despatched within 5 working days

Department: Folk & World Instruments - Ukulele Songbooks

Publisher: Mel Bay

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The balalaika is most often associated with Russian folklore. In this comprehensive method book, concert and recording artist Bibs Ekkel shares his extensive knowledge of the balalaika as taught in Russia today. This 160-page book is divided into four sections: an extensive Foreword, the Tutor, A Brief History of the Balalaika, and a Repertoire Section.

Unlike many Mel Bay books, the Complete Balalaika Book does not begin with the rudiments of music notation. Rather, the 20-page Foreword offer insights on the tunings of all the instruments in the balalaika family, hand positions, string sources and height adjustment, and chord shapes. The author even describes how to make a bass balalaika pick from shoe leather.

The Tutor or instruction segment is written for the 'prima balalaika' which is correctly played with the fingers only rather than with a pick. The Tutor jumps right in with exercises and tunes in quarter, eighth, and sixteenth-note values with occasional dotted notes and syncopation. Perhaps half of the music in this section is shown in both standard notation and tablature. A glossary of musical signs and Russian musical terns is included. A Brief History of the Balalaika is well written and nicely illustrated.

Very few Mel Bay books contain such a comprehensive historical overview of the subject instrument. The Repertoire Section offers a valuable resource of Eastern European folk tunes. All but two selections in this section are written in both notation and tab with suggested guitar chords, the exceptions being an arrangement for balalaika and piano, and a balalaika orchestra score. More than simple melody chord leadsheets, these are the author's own arrangements of tunes for solo balalaika and balalaika orchestra. A companion CD with selections performed by the author completes this highly effective instructional package.


Contents and Reviews


Foreword Finding the Right Strings Tuning & Bridge Position Bridge Adjustment of Strings Tuning of Orchestral Instruments Strings for the Balalaika Orchestra Picks for orchestral Instruments Chord Shapes for Prima (and Alto) Balalaika Balalaika Diagram Tutor Strings Tuning Holding The Balalaika The Balalaika Fingerboard The Left Hand Strumming With The Thumb Left Hand: Using The Thumb Right Hand: Plucking With The Thumb Strumming With The Index Finger Annotation of Strokes Tremolo Tremolo on 2nd and 3rd Strings Only Double Pizzicato Single Pizzicato Pizzicato & the Left Hand Tremolo on One String Vibrato Tremolo With Vibrato Rolls Syncopation Left Hand Pizzicato Glissando Harmonics False Harmonics Triads "Guitar" Techniques Guitar Tremolo Guitar Pizzicato Forward Guitar Pizzicato Straight-Fingered Guitar Pizzicato Guitar Picking Tricks and Special Effects Some Extra Difficult Strokes General Advice on Practicing Glossary of Musical Signs Russian Musical Terms Short Introduction